Crude Oil Hits Record Inventory Build at 14.4 Million Barrels
Before we look at the weekly changes to refinery crude runs, we first must highlight the record weekly build in crude oil inventory--14.4 million barrels! This is the highest crude import number in more than four years; along with a slight slowdown in crude runs, it was responsible for the massive increase in inventory.
Regarding the weekly change in crude runs, throughput was down in all regions except PADD 4. Our expectation for crude oil distillation unit (CDU) turnarounds is mostly unchanged, with the exception of PADD 3, where lower turnaround figures should have led to an increase in crude runs.
While PADD 3 crude runs fell by only 7,000 barrels per day, we still anticipate a big jump in throughput for the week of November 4. Between now and then, 300,000 barrels per day of CDU capacity will come back online at Marathon’s Garyville, Louisiana, refinery and Valero’s Port Arthur, Texas refinery.
The major question mark for PADD 3, though, will be the impact the Colonial pipeline closure has on refinery throughput and subsequent gasoline containment. September’s shutdown did not result in unplanned refinery shutdowns, but the magnitude and duration of the most recent event could have more of an impact on refineries.
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